Ahmedabad: The agitation by Gujarat's financially strong Patel community demanding reservation under the OBC quota before the 2017 state elections has put the state government in a bind.
Members of the Patel community have been holding massive rallies in different parts of the state to press for their demands for the last couple of months, with one of them turning violent in Vijapur.
The OBC quota reservation agitation, inspired by Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan, has stirred the political scene of the state with the ruling-BJP accusing hand of opposition Congress behind it.
The Congress, however, has refuted the allegation, saying there arises no question of supporting as Patels have not approached them.
Patel community, which makes up around 20 per cent population of Gujarat, has stood behind the BJP for past two decades and had given a strong electoral support to the party.
Convener of the agitation Hardik Patel said though his community is considered financially well off, a large share of 40 per cent is not, and hence, the government should give reservation under the OBC quota.
"The government should give a promise to include us in OBC quota for reservations by 2017. Else, we will intensify our agitation," Patel said.
Maintaining that their agitation is 'non-political', he demanded that politicians belonging to Patel community should resign from both BJP and Congress in support of the agitation.
Meanwhile, the BJP is in a bind as to how to control the stir that has gained momentum in past some time.
Union Minister Mohan Kundariya, also a leader representing Patels, charged that it is opposition Congress which is backing the agitation.
"There is a Congress hand in the agitation. Congress is favouring the stir as they failed to come to power (in the state) for the last 25 years. It is clear the cap for reservation is 50 per cent and we cannot give beyond that," Kundariya has said in Rajkot.